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Conformational Changes of trans-1,2-Dichlorocyclohexane Adsorbed in Zeolites Studied by FT-Raman Spectroscopy and Molecular QM/MM Simulations

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journal contribution
posted on 2012-04-19, 00:00 authored by Andrei Buin, Jianrong Ma, Yining Huang, Styliani Consta, Zhang Hui
The conformational behavior of trans-1,2-dichlorocyclohexane (T12D) adsorbed inside zeolites with Faujasite structure (FAU) including sodium Y (Na–Y) and siliceous Y (Si–Y) was investigated by FT-Raman spectroscopy and molecular simulations. The results have clearly shown that the conformational and dynamic properties of T12D strongly depend on the presence of charge-balancing cations as well as Si/Al ratio. Upon loading into Na–Y, the population of the diequatorial (ee) conformer increases compared with pure T12D liquid due to the strong interaction with the extra-framework Na+ ions. Molecular simulations of T12D in Na–Y and Si–Y have also been carried out. The T12D molecule was modeled by quantum and semiempirical quantum chemistry methods and embedded in a zeolite framework that was described by empirical force field. Conformational changes were sampled using quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics molecular dynamics and replica exchange molecular dynamics. Molecular simulations revealed that the ee conformer is preferable versus the diaxial (aa) conformer in both Na–Y and Si–Y frameworks. However, in the Na–Y supercage environment, the Na+ ions polarize the ee conformer stronger than in Si–Y. This leads to a larger shift of the conformational equilibrium in favor of the ee component in Na–Y relative to Si–Y. Computations of the equilibrium population of aa and ee conformers using the dihedral Cl–C–C–Cl angle distributions of aa and ee showed good quantitative agreement with the experimental findings with respect to the dominant ee conformer in both Na–Y and Si–Y.

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